Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Day Before a Brand New Year

I love the end of one year and the beginning of another. I suppose it's because I'm a long time advocate of the aphorism "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." I'm not sure where that comes from--probably a twelve-step program--but regardless, I embrace second chances, new opportunities, jumping into new frames of mind. If there is one thing I've learned is that my past doesn't have to be my future. I know who said that, at least on a self-help tape, Tony Robbins and it resonates with me.

There is almost always something one can do to make things better, or to shift from one path to another. I admit I'm not sure this works for people in dire straits, the homeless, the destitute, the hopelessly addicted and those who have the misfortune to live where war rages, but the rest of us, we have no excuses.

I only have a vague idea of what I want to accomplish this year. I haven't taken the time to write it all down yet, but I do know that while some of my resolutions may fall by the wayside, most of the will not. This is the year I want to keep things simple, take each day as it comes, but be clear to myself what is really important. I want to take steps everyday--creeping aching steps if necessary, but steps toward making my life what I want it to be. Keeping my family and friends close, keep my fingers at the keyboard daily for strong productive segments of time, painting often, and painting only what I want to paint with no one's rules drumming in my head, and beading too, even that, when I want something I can hold in my hand immediately, feel its weight, and give away. And I want to do something for others. Step out of my own world for a while each week and give away something of me.

I count myself lucky that these are the threads I can braid together into a thick uneven plait and lucky to be able to shake it out at the end of each year and start again.

3 comments:

Sarah Hilary said...

"And I want to do something for others. Step out of my own world for a while each week and give away something of me."

You do that every time you write, Gay. What a terrific way of articulating what the best writers try to do. Happy writing in 2009.

Gay Degani said...

Thank you Sarah. This is our year! Happy writing right back at you.

sylvia said...

I'm just catching up, finally! Like you, I enjoy fresh starts. I have a few very specific goals for the things I want to accomplish but no broad resolutions (well, lose weight, as a sort of general constant thing, if that counts).

One of my goals is counterintuitive - last year I wanted to try to sell some of my photography and this year I've resolved not to. I enjoy taking photographs but I need to work on the freedom to take the shots before I focus too tightly on the technical issues separating good from bad. I guess in the same way we tell stories to our children and friends - creating motivation - before we focus on how to do it right. The photos I enjoy are not the ones that would work for stock photography, so it doesn't seem a sensible goal.

I don't know if that's what you mean with regards to painting, too?